Montana Senate passes a Freedom of Food bill that would legalize limited raw milk sales

by Michael Mahari

Helena, Mont. (March 8, 2021) – The Montana Senate last week passed a “Freedom of Food” bill that would legalize the unregulated sale of homemade foods from producers to informed end consumers, including raw milk and raw dairy products. Passing the law would take an important step toward rejecting the federal ban plan in practice and effect, and would undermine the Food and Drug Administration’s control over food production.

Senator Greg Hertz (Republican for Paulson) introduced Senate Bill 199)SB199) On February 8 Montana Local Food Choice, Legislation prohibits any local or state government agency from requesting licensing, authorization, certification, packaging, labeling, or inspection related to the preparation, presentation, use, consumption, delivery, or storage of homemade food or home-made food products.

The proposed law would legitimize the sale of raw milk and raw dairy products directly from the producer to the consumer if the producer did not keep more than five lactating cows, 10 breastfeeding goats, or 10 lactating sheep on the farm for milk production. Sales will be permitted at a farm, ranch, home, office, or “traditional community social event”, including farmers’ markets, neighborhood gatherings, and sporting events.

Current Montana law prohibits the sale of raw milk.

The bill would also allow the unregulated sale of poultry if the producer slaughtered and processed 1,000 or fewer birds within a calendar year. Producers can only sell meat and meat products on the invoice if they are slaughtered and processed at a “State Licensed or Federally Certified Meat Establishment”.

Food freedom laws not only open markets, expand consumer choices, and create opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs; They take a step toward restoring the original political structure of the United States. Instead of central top-down regulatory schemes, these laws encourage local control, and can effectively nullify applicable federal regulatory schemes by impeding the enforcement of federal regulations.

While state law does not bind the Food and Drug Administration, passing freedom of food laws creates an environment hostile to federal food regulations in those states. And because the state does not interfere with local food producers, this means that it will not impose FDA mandates either. If the feds wanted to enforce food laws in states that enforce freedom of food laws, they would have to do it themselves.

As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, federal regulations become ineffective when states ignore them and pass laws that encourage prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement authority necessary to maintain its ban, and people would voluntarily take the small risks of federal sanctions if they knew the state would not intervene. This increases when the state actively promotes the “market”.

Less restrictive food laws almost certainly have a similar effect on FDA regulation. They are making it more difficult for federalists to impose their will within the state.

Impact on the federal raw milk ban

Food and Drug Administration officials insist that unpasteurized milk poses a health hazard due to its susceptibility to contamination from cow dung, which is a source of Escherichia coli.

“It’s the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” agency spokeswoman Tamara said Ward was in November 2011.

The FDA’s position is more than a matter of opinion. In 1987, the Federalists applied 21 CFR 1240.61 (a), provided that: “It is not permissible for any person to cause his delivery to interstate commerce or to sell or otherwise distribute or keep it for sale or other distribution after shipment in interstate commerce, i.e. milk or dairy product in the form of final packaging for direct human consumption unless the product Pasteurized. “

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It’s not just the Feds banning the transportation of raw milk across state lines; They also claim the authority to ban unpasteurized milk Within the borders of the state.

“From HHS … impose bans within states [on unpasteurized milk] Also, ”Food and Drug Administration officials wrote in response to A. Farm-to-consumer legal defense fund A lawsuit against the agency over the interstate ban.

The Food and Drug Administration clearly wants a complete ban on raw milk and some insiders say it is only a matter of time before the feds try to impose an absolute ban. Armed raids by FDA agents on companies like Rawsome Foods in 2011 and Amish farms over the past few years also suggest that this scenario may not be far-fetched.

When states allow raw milk to be sold within their borders, they take an important step toward repealing this federal ban scheme.

As we have seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, domestic bans become ineffective when states ignore them and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement authority necessary to maintain its ban, and people would voluntarily take the small risks of federal sanctions if they knew the state would not intervene. This increases when the state actively encourages the market and removes the federal ban in effect.

We’ve seen this very evident in the states that have legalized industrial hemp. When they allowed production, farmers began growing industrial hemp, even in the face of a federal ban. Despite facing the prospect of federal prosecution, some growers were still willing to step into the void and begin growing the plant once the state removed the barriers.

Likewise, removing state barriers to the consumption, sale and production of raw milk will undoubtedly stimulate the creation of new markets for unpasteurized dairy products, regardless of what the feds claim the ability to do.

It could eventually lead to the removal of the interstate bans as well. If all 50 states allowed raw milk, markets within the states could grow so easily that domestic sales would render the federal ban on interstate trade pointless. And history suggests that the feds just don’t have the resources to stop people moving raw milk across state borders – especially if several states start legalizing it. The rapidly growing markets will overwhelm any attempts to impose federalism.

What’s Next

SB199 now turns to the House of Representatives for further study. Once assigned to the commission, it must pass by a majority of votes before proceeding with the legislative process.

Source: Tenth Adjustment Center

Michael Mahari [send him email] He is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center. He is from the original home of the 1998 Principles – Kentucky and currently resides in North Florida. See his blog archive Here And the archive of his article Here. He is the author of the book Our last hope: rediscovering the lost road to freedom, And the Basic owner’s manual. You can visit his personal site at And like him on Facebook Here

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